A new study tries to pinpoint how much money is earned by attaching particular labels like “natural” and “organic” to food packaging and finds that these mostly meaningless marketing buzzwords generate tens of billions of dollars in profit while telling you almost nothing about the product.
Nothing makes Americans buy a food product quite like the fabulously ambiguous word “natural.”
The top 35 health claims and food labels include words most anyone who has been to a supermarket in the past five years should recognize—ones like “natural,” yes, but also “organic,” and “fat free,” and “carb conscious,” and “100 calories.” These phrases helped the food industry sell more than $377 billion worth of masterfully marketed food items in the United States during the past year, according to data from market research firm Nielsen…
Take food labeled with the word “natural,” for instance. Actually, remember it, because it’s probably the most egregious example on supermarket shelves today. The food industry now sells almost $41 billion worth of food each year labeled with the word “natural,” according to data from Nielsen. And the “natural” means, well, nothing. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t even have an official definition or delineation of what “natural” actually means…
It’s hardly the only misleading adjective the food industry is swinging around these days. The word organic, while a bit less nebulous, still means a good deal less than one might think. Several others, including ones that reference antioxidants, proteins, calcium and other vitamins and minerals, are confusing consumers by tricking them into believing certain food products are healthier than they actually are, a recent study found.
I think this really speaks volumes about the human race, how easily manipulated we are by advertising. They sell us things we don’t need to fix problems we don’t have and convince us that it’s working even when it isn’t. Hell, we use marketing to sell wars. I’m just gonna leave this here: